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This book analyzes changing definitions of mental illness and the way in which they have been reflected in the organization of health care. Lindsay Prior looks at the provision of medical and social services for people with serious psychiatric disorders, and shows how this both reflects and constitutes the nature of mental illness. He demonstrates how sociological insights into the world of psychiatric medicine can be gained from an examination of the multiple ways in which disorders have been represented in, and through, the work of psychiatric professionals.
Focusing on the transition from hospital- to community-centred services, the most important and far-reaching of all the organizational changes that have affected twentieth-century psychiatry, Prior outlines the rationales which lie behind this shift in emphasis, as well as other transformations in mental health service provision. In the light of major changes in the theory and practice of key groups of psychiatric professionals, including psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists and psychologists Prior discusses the consequences both for the providers and the recipients of psychiatric care.
This accessible and stimulating study will be of interest to both academics and professionals in the fields of the sociology of health and illness, social policy, psychology and health care.
Social Representations and Social Worlds
Changing Images of the Psychiatric Hospital
The Diverse Objects of Psychiatric Theory
Networks of Professional Practice
Representations of Psychiatric Disorder in the Community
Representations of Psychiatric Disorder in the Family
The Social Worlds of the Hospital
The Social Worlds of the Community
Representations of Mental Illness